Cultural venues have been forced to weather a storm in the face of coronavirus, but today’s UK budget plan should offer at least a glimmer of hope for the beleaguered venues.
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden announced yesterday that the proposed arts fund of around £1.57bn announced last July will be bolstered to around £1.87bn.
“It’s a relief we can look ahead now so this funding is not just about survival,” Dowden announced via Twitter, “But planning & preparing for reopening of theatres, galleries and gigs.” The fund will cover music venues, independent cinemas, museums, galleries, theatres and heritage sites.
The Music Venue Trust added a note of caution to the statement by highlighting the fact that 20 iconic music venues remain at risk. They have called upon fans to help save the venues from closure via donations and merch purchases and launching the social media hashtag #SaveThe20.
In a statement, the Music Venue Trust’s CEO Mark Davyd announced: “The crisis is nearing its final lap, but we need to make sure these venues finish the race. With the support of artists and audiences, we have fought our way through the last 11 months venue by venue, case by case, trying to make sure that we are able to reopen every venue safely.”
In the UK’s staged system to return to normal life, it was revealed that step three, could allow for limited indoor mixing from the 17th of May at the earliest, with a view to reopening music venues thereafter.
A full breakdown of the Budget and the culture package involved is due to be released this afternoon.